Psalm 89:43

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 43. Also turned the edge of his sword. When he goes to war he is as unsuccessful as though his sword refused to cut, and gave way like a sword of lead. His weapons fail him.

And hast not made him to stand in the battle. His heart fails him as well as his sword -- he wavers, he falls. This has happened even to naturally brave men -- a terrible dread has unmanned them. At this present the church has few swords of true Jerusalem metal; her sons are pliable, her ministers yield to pressure. We need men whose edge cannot be turned, firm for truth, keen against error, sharp towards sin, cutting their way into men's hearts. Courage and decision are more needed now than ever, for charity towards heresy is the fashionable vice, and indifference to all truth, under the name of liberal mindedness, is the crowning virtue of the age. The Lord send us men of the school of Elias, or, at least, of Luther and Knox.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 43. Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, etc. The arms and military prowess of thy people are no longer of any use to them; Thou art against them, and therefore they are fallen. In what a perilous and hopeless situation must that soldier be who, defending his life against his mortal foe, has his sword broken, or its edge turned; or, in modern warfare, whose gun misses fire! The Gauls, when invaded by the Romans, had no method of hardening iron; at every blow their swords bent, so that they were obliged, before they could strike again, to put them under their foot or over their knee, to straighten them; and in most cases, before this could be done, their better armed foe had taken away their life! The edge of their sword was turned, so that they could not stand in battle; and hence the Gauls were conquered by the Romans. --Adam Clarke.

Verse 43. Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, that it cannot do execution as it has done; and what is worse, thou hast "turned the edge" of his spirit, and taken off his courage, and hast not made him to stand, as he used to do, in the day of battle. The spirit of men is what the Father and Former of spirits makes them; nor can we stand with any strength or resolution, farther than God is pleased to uphold us. If men's hearts fail them, it is God that dispirits them; but it is sad with the church when those cannot stand that should stand up for it. --Matthew Henry.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 43. -- Cases in which the sword of the gospel appears to have its edge turned.